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How to Shut Off Your Water Supply Easily and Safely

Sometimes, little plumbing issues become big problems fast. In those moments, stopping the water to better assess the situation should be your number one priority. However, many people fear they won’t know what to do with themselves when the time comes for the water to be shut off. Living without water readily available to wash your hands or flush a toilet may sound like a nightmare, but turning off your water for repairs doesn’t have to be so stressful if done correctly and at the proper time.

A Quick Guide to Turning Off Your Water Supply

As a homeowner, it’s important to know when you need to shut off your water and how to do it. By knowing the main signs that your water supply needs to be shut off and the proper steps to safely shut off your water, you can prevent flooding, water damage, and wasted water.

When Do I Need to Shut Off My Water?

It’s important to note that turning off your home’s water supply is a crucial step for most plumbing repairs, but it isn’t necessary for every little thing. For example, when there’s a widespread water outage for any reason, you don’t need to shut off the water because no damage is being done to your plumbing. There simply isn’t any water flowing. 

However, when a plumbing problem is actively causing home damage or if having the water on will make it more difficult to repair your plumbing, it’s best to turn off the water supply. If you want to prevent water damage, review the following main signs that you need to shut off your water supply: 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to immediately shut off your water and call your plumber’s emergency line as soon as possible.

How Do I Turn Off My Water?

While a plumber will usually shut off your home’s water for you when they need to make a plumbing repair, sometimes plumbing emergencies can occur when a plumber isn’t nearby. If you want to be prepared for an emergency, it’s important to know how to turn off your water. By shutting off your water properly in an emergency, you can lower the risk of water damage before a plumber can inspect your plumbing system and fix the issue. 

As you learn how to turn off your home’s water, the first thing you’ll need to understand is that you have three types of valves in or around your home that control your water supply. One valve is responsible for shutting off water to your entire house, another will shut off water across your property, and others will turn off water at an appliance. The right valve to use to turn off your water will depend on the type of problem you’re having. 

To know what valve you should turn off in an emergency, learn more about how and when to turn off the three main types of valves below:

1. How to Turn the Water Off at an Appliance.

There are multiple appliances in your home that use water to function. If there is a problem localized to a specific appliance or water fixture, it’s probably best to turn off the water at the site of the issue. These water valves usually look like levers or circular knob valves. When you need to shut off the water flowing to an appliance or fixture, like a faucet or toilet, turn the handle clockwise to shut off the water.

2. How to Turn Off the Water to the Whole House

Usually, you’ll need to turn off the water to your entire home when you have an emergency, such as a pipe burst or water overflow. Besides shutting off your water to your house during an emergency, you might also want to turn it off when you plan to be away from your home for more than a day. Turning off your water before you leave on a trip will prevent water damage if something goes wrong while you’re away, 

Like with your appliances and fixtures, you’ll be looking for a red, circular shut-off valve when you turn off the water to your entire home. Depending on where you live, the location of this valve may vary. In hot climates, this valve is typically located outdoors where the cold water pipe enters your home. In cold climates, it may be located indoors, usually next to the water heater.

3. How to Turn Off Water to the Entire Property

Your property’s water valve turns off the water supply to your home and any outdoor fixtures you have, such as sprinklers or misters. This valve is located in a concrete box in the ground out by the street. Open the house side of the box and turn the valve clockwise until it stops. Do not leave it partially open or closed. Since this method of turning off your water is more difficult, it should be a last resort when shutting off water to just your home doesn’t work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Shutting Off Your Home’s Water

If you still have questions about shutting off your home’s water supply, we have answers. Review the most commonly asked questions about shutting off your water and our answers below:

Is It Bad to Shut Off Water to Toilet? Is It Safe to Turn Off Water to Toilet?

When you need to shut off water to an overflowing or constantly running toilet, you should know it’s completely safe to turn off your water’s toilet supply. However, keep in mind that turning off your toilet’s water supply will make it so your toilet can’t flush until you turn it back on.

Is It Okay to Turn Off Water to a Toilet Overnight?

Yes. You can safely turn off the water to your toilet overnight, and we’d recommend doing so if you’re dealing with a toilet issue that needs to be repaired by a plumber. If the plumber can’t fix this issue until the next day, you can keep the water turned off overnight, and you shouldn’t have an issue.

Is It Okay to Turn Off Water to a Toilet for a Week? How Long Can You Turn Off Water to a Toilet?

Like turning off your toilet’s water for a night, it’s safe to do so for a week. While you can keep your toilet water off for as long as you’d like, we wouldn’t recommend it unless you have a problem with your toilet’s plumbing system. When you don’t have an issue with your toilet, turning off your toilet’s water supply will only make it impossible for your toilet to flush and won’t provide any major benefits in water savings.

Which Direction to Turn Toilet Water Off?

When you need to shut off your toilet’s water, the shut-off valve is typically located behind the toilet. Typically, you’ll need to turn the toilet’s valve clockwise to shut off the water and counter-clockwise to turn it back on.

Is It Safe to Shut Off Water to House?

Whether you’re going on vacation or have a plumbing emergency, you can safely shut off the water to your house. While shutting off your water will mean you can’t use your showers, sinks, or toilets, it can prevent water damage during an emergency. 

How to Turn Off Water to Sink?

If your kitchen or bathroom sink is leaking or has another plumbing issue, you can turn it off much like you’d do with a toilet. Usually, a sink’s shut-off valve is located under the sink and looks like circular knob valves or levers. Once you find this valve, simply turn it clockwise to prevent water from flowing to your sink.

Choose Boney for Plumbing Repair and Installation Services in Sacramento

Whether there’s a minor leak or a total catastrophe in your home, you need a team of experienced, fast-acting plumbing professionals on your side. At Bonney, we pride ourselves on our many years of dedicated plumbing service to the Rancho Cordova and Sacramento areas. Our excellent customer service, industry knowledge, and financing services have earned us many loyal clients who turn to us for help when their plumbing needs an expert touch. Additionally, we have emergency plumbers who are available 24/7 and ready to help you at a moment’s notice.

Learn more about our plumbing services today. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, please contact us online or call us at 800-444-0551 for fast, reliable service.